Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dream Home or School District: Which Would You Choose?

September 11, 2013

Weighing the pros and cons of choosing a home based on school district.

dream home or school districtYou married the one you love, have the job you’ve always wanted, and have three adorable babes to tuck in at night. Your American Dream is almost complete – all that’s left? The house.
Where a lot of people struggle in this situation is deciding whether to go with the dream home, or the dream school district. The no-brainer here is to buy the better home that is in the best school district, but that isn’t always an option.
There has been a lot of discussion on this topic. Some justify settling for a decent school district to allow them their dream home; stating that children learn most of their values at home. This argument states a home with educated and supportive parents will ensure their child’s academic success, even if they don’t go to the best schools.
On the other side of the picket fence, people find justification on settling for an older home, with less updated features in an exceptional school district; expressing that a nice home is a luxury, not a need. “One can live in a less spacious, older place – at the same price – in order to give the kids the advantages of being in a higher rated school district that has higher expectations of its students,” said one homeowner.
What side of the fence are you on? Dream Home/Decent Schools, or Decent Home/Dream Schools? I mean, can you really have the American Dream with one and not the other? ~Minneapolis Association of Realtors Article

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Twin Cities Home Source new website!

Twin Cities Home Source focus is representing each client with a experienced professional agent. Our average agent has at least 10+ years of experience with our managing partners having an average of 20 years of experience!
Our website utilizes the RMLS or MLS ( Multiple Listing Service ) and our agents can set up a FREE email alert directly from the MLS data base so you can be notified in real time when a home comes on the market that meets your criteria!
Check out our Mortgage,and Home Inspectors on the left buttons of this page. These are professionals that we have a long history of referring and working with to make your transaction as smooth as possible. You can hire anyone you like, however company's listed on our site have been a part of hundreds of successful closing by past clients!
Contact us today, we will bring our experience to you. We'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Quick real estate market update:

Last year was probably one of the most affordable years ever to buy a house as prices bottomed and mortgage interest rates hit record lows. The National Assn. of Realtors reported that 2012 will probably go down as a record year for housing affordability, according to its affordability index. That measure, which is calculated based on the median home price, family income and the average mortgage interest rate, stood at 198.2 in November.The higher the index number, the more purchasing power available to consumers. A reading of 100 is the point at which a family with a median income can afford a median-priced home presuming a 20% down payment. For the entire year of 2012, the group projects the index will hit an average of 194, the highest it has been since record keeping began in 1970. While homes may be affordable and mortgage interest rates low, 2012 was also marked by low inventory, steep competition for homes and tight mortgage lending standards. These conditions shut out many families still struggling from the recession, but many were able to take advantage of the situation.~LA Times

Monday, May 7, 2012

Buying a Home Won't Get Much Cheaper!

Buying a home may never get any cheaper than this. Several housing experts are predicting that this year will be the last chance for bargain hunters to cash in on the best deals of the weak housing market.

With home prices down 34% nationally since 2006 and mortgage rates at historic lows, homes have never been more affordable -- but it won't stay this way for much longer.

Stuart Hoffman, chief economist for PNC Financial Services, said he expects home prices to flatten out by the third quarter and start climbing by next year.

A number of factors will help bolster the housing market, he said, including a decline in the number of foreclosures and continued job growth. In addition, homebuyers will have better access to mortgages as they get their finances in order and improve their credit scores.

"This is a strong indicator that we will start seeing home price indexes, like the S&P/Case-Shiller, start to report home price increases this summer," he said.

Prospective home buyers who've been sitting on the fence shouldn't worry if they aren't quite ready to make the leap. Analysts are predicting that the initial price gains will be modest, at least, in most markets.~Les Christie AOL Article

Joe Koltes
Stellar Realty

Monday, February 27, 2012

More Good news for housing!

(Reuters) - Contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes neared a two-year high in January, an industry group said on Monday, further evidence the housing market was slowly turning the corner.

The National Association of Realtors said its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in January, increased 2 percent to 97.0 - the highest reading since April 2010. New contracts generally lead sales by a month or two.

Housing data ranging from home building to resale's have been relatively upbeat, buttressing other signs of underlying economic strength that should help the U.S. recovery better handle rising gasoline prices and a recession in the euro zone.

The housing market is becoming less of a drag on the economy and home construction is expected to add to growth this year for the first time since 2005.

"Clearly we had better weather conditions in January that might have helped, but we have a situation where we are seeing a number of housing statistics turn," said Michael Strauss, chief economist at Commonfund in Wilton, Connecticut. "It suggests housing is going to be an additive to GDP this year."


December's pending home sales index was revised to show a much smaller 1.9 percent drop instead of the previously reported 3.5 percent decline. In January, new contracts were up 8.0 percent from their year-ago level.

The rise in last month's index suggested home resales would increase for a second consecutive month in February, and it also bodes well for the spring sales season.

"This spring we expect to see continued forward momentum in the housing market as excess inventory is absorbed and low-cost mortgage debt becomes more prevalent," said John Tashjian, principal at Centurion Real Estate Partners in New York.

"A strong spring housing season will be a critical indicator toward predicting growth in the housing market for 2012."

The market has been hampered by an oversupply of unsold homes, but the number of both new and previously owned properties for sale has been whittled down in recent months.

But with the foreclosure tide yet to recede and continuing to depress prices, recovery will be a long, drawn-out affair. A report due on Tuesday is expected to show that prices in 20 U.S. metropolitan areas tracked by S&P/Case Shiller fell by 0.5 percent in December after declining by 0.7 percent in November.

Yelena Shulyatyeva, an economist at BNP Paribas in New York, said the housing market has likely received some recent support from buyers hoping to lock in mortgages before loan guarantee fees charged by housing finance firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac go up in April.

Pending home sales rose strongly in the Northeast and South, but fell in the Midwest and West.

Shulyatyeva cautioned that not all of the sales would likely go through. "Recently, existing home sales have been running much lower than pending sales as one third of them currently end up in a contract failure," she said.

Monday, February 13, 2012

6 tips for selling in today's market!

Some homeowners have been waiting for years for a better housing market and a good time to sell. Is it better to wait a few more years and see if you can realize a higher sale price, or sell now and move on with your life?

The motivation for selling is a key factor. Are you commuting to work several hours a day and the commute is killing you? Are your children grown and your home is now too big, in addition to being a burden to maintain? Is your home too small? Have you taken a job out of the area? Can you no longer afford to own your home? Or do you no longer want to pay the price it costs to own your home?

These are all good reasons for considering making a move. Not only do current market conditions enter into the equation, but making a move like this is usually more complicated than it was the first time you bought a home.

HOUSE HUNTING TIP: First, you need to find out the probable sale price of your home and access the state of the current home-sale market in your area. You also need to know what you can do to maximize the saleability of your home. Then you should consider where you'll live next and how much that will cost.

If you don't already have one, find an experienced real estate agent who specializes in your area. Friends whose opinion you trust are the best source of agent referrals. Meet with your agent at your home and ask for a comparative market analysis. This will give you information about what homes like yours have been selling for in the current market.

You'll also want to know how long you can expect it to take to sell your home. How many homes like yours have sold recently? Are homes like yours in high demand? Or, is it located in a less desirable area that could mean a longer marketing time and, perhaps, a lower price than you were expecting?

Ask your agent to walk through your home with you and point out what should be done to make your home marketable. Homes that sell today are priced right for the market and are in move-in condition.

You want to make cost-effective improvements. If the kitchen and bathrooms are outdated, consider a cosmetic redo. Update paint, hardware, light fixtures and floor coverings, if necessary. Don't do a complete remodel unless you plan to stay in your home for years; otherwise, you won't recoup your investment.

Deciding where to move -- and when -- can be difficult. Some buyers can afford to buy a new home before selling, and prefer to make the move that way. Most repeat buyers can't afford to buy first. Others who can won't buy first due to market uncertainty and the stress of owning two homes at once.

The most prudent approach to making a move from one home to another is to sell first and rent if necessary until you find the right home to buy. By selling first, you will know exactly how much money you have to apply to a new home. Today's housing market is volatile. A dip in the market could shave tens of thousands of dollars, or more, off your selling price.

The other benefit of renting before buying is that you're under no pressure to buy the first listing you see. Interest rates are low and are expected to stay low through 2012. Prices are also low and aren't expected to move up much for the next several years.

THE CLOSING: This gives you time to find the home that will suit you for the long term.

Drop me an email for information on both selling and buying.

~Dian Hymer, Inman News